Friday, July 27, 2018

What is Michael Lewis Up To Now? Is He Really Going to Try to Pull This Off Without Mises?

Michael Lewi
The very talented writer Michael Lewis, author of the The Big Short and Moneyball, is writing a book about government bureaucracy.

According to The New York Times:
 “The Fifth Risk,” which W.W. Norton will publish in October, paints a dire picture of the chaos and mismanagement in the departments of Energy, Agriculture and Commerce during the transition from President Barack Obama to President Trump...

“The Fifth Risk,” which W.W. Norton will publish in October, paints a dire picture of the chaos and mismanagement in the departments of Energy, Agriculture and Commerce during the transition from President Barack Obama to President Trump...

“It’s not that different from writing about Wall Street, these big, gray institutions that are suddenly interesting,” he said. “From a literary point of view, Trump has electrified the material by the threat of neglect and mismanagement on a scale that we haven’t seen before."
But writing correctly about bureaucracy is much more difficult than writing about Florida strippers buying houses they can't afford with the use of subprime mortgages or about baseball players being very valuable who get to first base a lot via the base on balls method.

The real problem with bureaucracy is not neglect nor mismanagement, it is the very nature of the bureaucratic structure.

I do not hesitate to write three months before the book is available for careful reading, in early autumn of year 2 of Trump, that it will be a failure at a high level if it does not discuss bureaucracy from the framework of the observations made by the deep thinker Ludwig von Mises in his 1944 Yale University published book, Bureaucracy.

The Lewis book may be a fun read. It may be a good story for a major motion picture but it will simply be echo chamber two-bit politician-style observations about bureaucracy absent Mises.

-RW